Some dogs may take to swimming like a duck to water, or a dog to water, but there are certain precautions to help make sure that your pooch’s paddle is a safe one.
If you want to make sure that your dog is comfortable around water you need to introduce them to water early on in their life, preferably when they’re just a puppy, making sure that their first experience is a pleasant one. Do not let a dog get into water over their head until they become an accomplished swimmer, and never force them or throw them into water.
Be aware that if you take the dog to the beach and it is drinking salt water all day that salt intoxication is a risk. Preventing this is easy, take a bottle of fresh water and offer it to them as often as possible. If the dog drinks a few gulps of salt water then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. However be aware of vomiting and early signs of salt poisoning like dullness and depression.
Dogs paddle with all four paws and this means that they will tire faster. Make sure that you know when your dog has had enough fun in the water. Panting is not necessarily a sign of physical exhaustion as it is how they remain cool. However if their breathing is laboured, or they make funny noises, make sure that you put an end to paddle playtime.
By providing the dogs with the right toys suitable for water you will also ensure that your dog has fun. The best water toys are made from hard rubber and float, with easy to grab rope attached.
Wet coats can trap bacteria, meaning that grooming after a swim is important to keep the dog healthy and free from germs and parasites that can be picked up from the water ensuring that they have a summer filled with fun.